Running back Josh Hokit scored all three of Fresno State’s touchdowns in the win 27-3 win at San Diego State Saturday night. Though he can’t quite share the touchdowns, he made sure to share everything else – the backfield and the praise.
And, if it were up to him, he would share the honor of being this week’s Top Dog.
In his postgame press conference, Hokit was quick to deflect any praise being thrown toward him for his 77-yard, three-touchdown game. Instead, he turned the spotlight to the offensive line.
“Forget about what I did. The offensive line, I’m gonna have to buy them a meal or something,” he said after the win Saturday. “They opened the holes. I just carried the ball.”
The Bulldogs beat San Diego State on the road Saturday 27-3.
On Tuesday, Hokit elaborated further about what the offensive line means to him, the rest of the backfield and quarterback Marcus McMaryion.
“[The offensive linemen] mean everything to me. They were making my job a lot easier, opening holes,” Hokit said. “All you have to do is run to the right spot, hold onto the ball and make something happen. They’re protecting the quarterback. You can’t ask for much more.”
Even when speaking about his most explosive play of the season, a 26-yard touchdown run that featured a forceful stiff arm on Aztec safety and captain Trey Lomax, Hokit could not help but let his selflessness seep through.
“You have to look on film, how the right tackle [David Patterson] blocked one dude, got to the second level and chipped the corner,” Hokit explained. “I just cut right off of it. We practice off-hand stiff arm, and you know, I just put that into execution and got into the end zone.”
Hokit is loving his role in the offense, and, most of all, he loves the fact that it’s a role he can hone into and master, unlike last season when he fluctuated between linebacker and running back.
Hokit will still be in a state of flux athletically, but this year it will be a transition to another sport rather than to another position on the football field. Hokit may join the newly reinstated wrestling team after the football season.
He was ranked as high as third in the country during his senior year at Clovis High School, but, ironically, it’s his battles on the mat that he considers his “side job.”
“I’m here to play football. That’s my first priority. I feel like wrestling is like a little side job,” he said. “It’s a tough side job, probably the toughest side job, but [football] is my main focus.”
Hokit, a Clovis native, signed a letter of intent to wrestle at Drexel University, but gave that up in favor of staying close to his family and being able to participate in both of the sports he loved at Fresno State, even though he would have to walk on as a football player.
“Philadelphia is a long way away,” Hokit said. “It sounded cool in the beginning, until you had to find a place to live over there.”
Hokit said his family wouldn’t be with him in Philadelphia, and he would have missed playing football.
“At the end of the day, it was a great decision to come here and stay and play football for Fresno State.”
Hokit’s brother, Isaiah, followed in the footsteps of his younger brother and transferred from Drexel to Fresno State to wrestle after a redshirt freshman season for the Dragons.
Hokit said his brother has also found a home and a brotherhood among his teammates.
“Everyone is encouraging each other. It’s like one big family,” Hokit said. “We all come from different backgrounds, but to come together – it’s something special. It’s a blessing to be on this team.”
McMaryion couldn’t help but show some of that brotherly love Tuesday after practice. The quarterback playfully threw a football at Hokit during his interview and deadpanned, “Josh Hokit’s the greatest” into the iPhone recording Hokit’s interview.
But as much as Hokit loves his teammates, his family and the two sports he takes part in, he is always looking for ways to improve.
“I’ve got to keep mastering my craft – keep getting bigger, faster, stronger,” the running back said of his goals for his time as a Bulldog.
Hokit’s next opportunity to showcase his development will be Saturday in a home game against UNLV. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.